Safety matters. Being safe, feeling safe, and keeping others safe are important factors to keep in mind when you’re considering purchasing a vehicle. But how do you determine a vehicle’s safety? A lot of info comes from the crash test safety rating system, but what do those ratings really mean?
Understanding Vehicle Safety Ratings
The crash test safety rating system has been providing consumers with vehicle safety data since 1978. In their testing, vehicles are compared to each other based on similar make, model, size, and weight. The data is based on four types of crashes: frontal, side barrier, rollover, and side pole.
The aim of these ratings is to rank vehicles based on how they perform against others in their class in each crash scenario, giving consumers insight into which vehicle will keep them and their family safest in the event of an accident.
Vehicle Safety Beyond Crash Testing
When it comes to determining a vehicle’s safety, crash testing isn’t the only avenue to go down. Remember, crash ratings group vehicles based on similar make, model, size, and weight. That system tends to group sedans with sedans, crossovers with crossovers, SUVs with SUVs, and so on. If you’re still open to the style of vehicle you want, crash test safety ratings won’t be as helpful as you might’ve hoped.
Beyond the crash test, there's more to consider.
Safety, Size, and Weight
While this may not be a surprise to everyone, larger and heavier vehicles end up being safer. Statistically speaking, SUVs are one of the safest vehicle types on the road. It is important to ensure the weight of the SUV is comparable to the size so that the vehicle is heavy enough to have a low rollover risk.
Safety and Personal Responsibility
When all is said and done, the most important indicator of vehicle safety is the operator. Protecting yourself and your family truly is an inside job. Actions like correctly buckling seatbelts, avoiding distractions, and paying attention to your surroundings are what will really increase your safety rating.
While every driver will have an idea of what features and capabilities they want in their new vehicle, the need for safety is universal.